Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne was an English folk-rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne that released four albums and a live disc on Charisma between 1970 and 1973, followed by a fifth studio title on Elektra in 1974.

After a mid-1970s disbandment where frontman Alan Hull recorded solo and the others formed Jack the Lad, the two parties reconvened for another round of albums on Mercury in 1978/79, followed by titles on LMP, River City, and Stylus Music during the 1980s.

Members: Ray Jackson (vocals, mandolin, harmonica, 1967-76, 1978-90), Rod Clements (bass, organ, piano, violin, guitar, vocals, 1967-73, 1976, 1978-2004), Ray Laidlaw (drums, 1967-73, 1976, 1978-2003), Simon Cowe (guitar, mandolin, banjo, keyboards, 1967-73, 1976, 1978-94), Alan Hull (vocals, guitar, organ, piano, 1968-75, 1976, 1978-95), Charlie Harcourt (guitar, 1973-75), Kenny Craddock (keyboards, 1973-75), Tommy Duffy (bass, 1973-75), Paul Nichols (drums, 1973-75), Marty Craggs (saxophone, flute, vocals, 1984-2000)


Lindisfarne evolved from The Downtown Faction, an R&B/beat group formed in 1965 by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rod Clements.

Clements was born Roderick Parry Clements on November 17, 1947, in North Shields, Northumberland, eight miles north-east of Newcastle upon Tyne. His mother (an occasional pianist) and father (a connoisseur of classical music) encouraged young Roderick’s musical interests.

As a teenager, Clements took to the day’s instrumental rock (The Shadows, The Ventures) and got his first guitar, which he learned to play by ear. He graduated from Durham University with a BA in ancient history and anthropology. In 1965–66, he gigged locally with the first iteration of The Downtown Faction.

As beat gave way to psychedelia and blues-rock, Clements switched to bass and formed a heavier version of Downtown Faction. In 1968, he added Tyneside guitarist/songwriter Alan Hull (1945–1995), fresh off a stint with Skip Bifferty-precursor The Chosen Few. This new lineup renamed itself Brethen.

By 1970, Brethen consisted by Clements, Hull, drummer Ray Laidlaw, and multi-string players Ray Jackson and Simon Cowe. The now folk-oriented band rebranded itself Lindisfarne, named after the tidal island off the northeast coast of England.

Charisma Records, recently founded by rock mogul Tony Stratton-Smith, included Lindisfarne in its inaugural round of signings (Genesis, Rare Bird, Audience, Jackson Heights, Every Which Way, Van der Graaf Generator).


Discography:

  • Nicely Out of Tune (1970)
  • Fog on the Tyne (1971)
  • Dingly Dell (1972)
  • Roll on Ruby (1973)
  • Lindisfarne Live (1973)
  • Happy Daze (1974)
  • Back and Fourth (1978)
  • Magic in the Air (live, 1978)
  • The News (1979)
  • Sleepless Nights (1982)
  • Dance Your Life Away (1986)
  • C’mon Everybody! (1987)
  • Amigos (1989)

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